Category: Gluten-free

American, Asian, Cooking Techniques, Eastern European, Easy, European, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Latin, Middle Eastern, Quick Meals, Rice/Grains/Pulses, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Rice on the Stovetop

I have never owned a rice cooker. I make rice in either a pot or a pressure cooker. Both methods work well, however, the pot takes 15 minutes to cook rice with a 5 minute rest period whereas the pressure cooker takes only 5 minutes. It makes sense as pressure cookers need only a third […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Asian, Easy, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Ingredient Substitutions, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Rice/Grains/Pulses, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

10-minute Seasoned Corn Appetizer/Side dish

I had this dish decades ago while visiting family friends. They were both practicing physicians with young children and very little spare time. This was the appetizer that “Auntie” whipped up. Aside: If you don’t have access to the spices listed below, just use regular salt and pepper and some ground cumin. No worries. Prep […]

Caribbean, Casseroles, Cleaning Out Refrigerator and Pantry, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Ingredient Substitutions, Latin, Low-Carb, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals

Pastelón de Plátano – Plantain and Meat Casserole

I learned how to make this dish from my Dominican classmate in college. It is made using sweet and green plantains that are boiled and mashed and sandwiched around a ground meat preparation similar to Picadillo (a Mexican sweet-and-sour ground meat main course) covered with cheese and baked. Think of it as a Carribean lasagne. […]

Caribbean, Cooking Techniques, Easy, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Latin, Low-Carb, Oils and Dressings, Sauces and Condiments, Spice Blends (Masalas)/Seasonings, Understanding Spices

Achiote (Annatto) Oil

Achiote (Annatto) seeds have been used in Mexico, the Carribean, and the Philipines to impart a deep orange-yellow color and fruity mildly peppery flavor to food. I make a cup of this oil and use it for recipes from these regions. Prep time: 3 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Yield: 1 cup INSTRUCTIONS Add both […]

American, Desserts, Easy, European, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Fat, Sauces and Condiments, Spice Blends (Masalas)/Seasonings, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cinnamon Sugar

I keep this sugar in my pantry to add a punch of flavor over baked goods like sweet-tasting bread or muffins. I have used it over fresh berries and as a chip seasoning. It’s easy to make and keeps well in a glass jar. Hands-on time: 3 minutes Yield: 4 ounces INSTRUCTIONS Add both ingredients […]

Asian, Beverages, Breakfast, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Vegetarian

Mango Lassi

There are about 1,100 varieties of mangoes in the world with a majority of the fruit coming from India. Mangoes are a wonderful summer fruit. They are delicious and nutritious. My Mom used to say (translated into English, of course) “In the morning, they are Gold, in the afternoon, Silver, and the evening, Brass”. In […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Asian, Breakfast, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Ingredient Substitutions, Low-Fat, Main Course, Quick Meals, Rice/Grains/Pulses, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Sabudana Khichdi – Curry Tapioca Pearls

Tapioca pearls (sabudana), which are derived from the cassava plant, are a staple in the Indian/Asian/Brazilian diet. They are sometimes confused with Sagu which is derived from the pith of tropical palm trees. Sagu and tapioca pearls resemble one another as they both appear as small, white, opaque pearls that become translucent when cooked. Think […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Asian, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Sauces and Condiments, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tamarind Chutney – Imli Ki Chutney

My family and I love tamarind chutney. It has a sweet and sour fruity taste that is in perfect balance on the palate. It is a must if you are serving Indian high tea as many of the savory offerings are paired with it. I use it: As a condiment for samosas (triangular, filled pastries), […]

Asian, Cooking Techniques, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Sauces and Condiments, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tamarind Pulp – Imli

Tamarind is used in many countries. Mexico uses it for making sweets and drinks, Asians, especially Indians, use it in cooking, for drinks, and in chutneys. Tamarind imparts a sweet-tart taste and is very nutritious. It can be purchased as a concentrate, a pulp or as dried fruit in a plastic block. I use the […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Easy, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Latin, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Rice/Grains/Pulses, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

3-Minute Corn Salsa with Black Beans

Years ago, I ate this salad as a sample at our local Trader Joe’s and fell in love with it. What shocked me was how easy it was to make. I only needed two ingredients and zero cooking! Olé! I made it for my book club later that week and it was a hit. I […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Asian, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Sauces and Condiments, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mint/Coriander Chutney

This chutney is used as a relish during a meal, a condiment alongside pakodas (savory fritters) and samosas, a filling for Indian high tea finger sandwiches or as one of the sauces used in making Behl Puri (a diced salad with crisp, puffed rice). This chutney can be made with mint only (leaves only), coriander […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Ingredient Substitutions, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Middle Eastern, Quick Meals, Sauces and Condiments, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Greek Yogurt Dip

I had a version of this dip at Margaret and Franco’s home at one of their parties and decided to try out this version for my entertainment offering. I have served it for book club and large parties and have been asked for the recipe by several people. Hands-on time: 10 minutes Yield: 2 cups […]

Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Breakfast, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Middle Eastern, Quick Meals, Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Feta Cheese Spread

I like to throw cocktail parties where I serve a variety of hearty appetizers and some signature drinks in addition to the usual wine and beer. Here is yet another quick recipe for an appetizer (or, an afternoon snack, as I served this to my kids as well). You can make a lot of this […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Breakfast, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Vegetarian

1-Minute Cheese Spread

Here is another idea for a quick appetizer for entertaining. It is delicious with crispy bread chips. I did this for my holiday cocktail parties with over 50 guests. It’s pain-free entertainment. INSTRUCTIONS Place the cheese of your choice in a slightly curved dish or one with a slight lip. Pour either the Agave nectar […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

5-Minute Layered Dip

During the summer, we have a large family gathering. With 13 mouths to feed over a week-long period, I look for meals and appetizers that don’t take up a lot of time and still suit the varied diets and palates of the family. Here’s an idea for a layered dip that requires no work yet […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Salad, Vegetarian

Cheese Filled Peppadews

I had this appetizer at the home of one of my Solon, Ohio book club members. It was so good that I just could not stop myself from eating them. Peppadews are a sweet, slightly spicy pickled pepper that closely resembles the round, Italian hot cherry pepper. However, the peppadew is much milder and the […]

American, Appetizers, Snacks, and Dips, Breakfast, Cooking Techniques, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Fat, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Irish Potatoes

Margaret and Franco, friends of mine in Cleveland, Ohio, invited me to a lovely luncheon where they were serving fried fish and these amazing oven-baked potatoes that looked and tasted exactly like crispy french fries. They were fantastic! Crispy on the outside and soft and airy on the inside. I made them for a family […]

Breakfast, Casseroles, Cooking Techniques, Easy, European, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Fat, Quick Meals, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Scalloped Potatoes

I purchased a lot of red potatoes with the idea that I was going to go on a diet where I would swear off almost all carbohydrates except potatoes. Ha! It lasted ONE day. I should have known better. I’m too much of a foodie to ever diet. Anyway, with this diet in mind, I […]

Asian, Cleaning Out Refrigerator and Pantry, Cooking Techniques, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals, Seafood, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Szechuan Spicy Vegetables Stir-fry (Ma La Xiang Guo)

I made this dish recently when I was trying to finish off a variety of fresh vegetables in my fridge. This is a good dish for just that purpose. You can add seafood like shrimp or calamari to this dish as well. It is a heart-healthy, quick and easy meal that is very versatile. In […]

Asian, Beverages, Breakfast, Easy, Family Favorites, Gluten-free, Heart Healthy, Indian, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Spice Blends (Masalas)/Seasonings, Understanding Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian

Masala Chai

Masala chai has gained a lot of popularity in the West. However, it is a common drink in many Indian homes. Masala means powdered spice or spice paste. It can be comprised of any spice in crushed form. Hence, garam masala means “hot” masala (it’s hot because the spices used in it generate heat in […]